Chapter 16: Options for the Capital of a Reunified Korea
16. Options for the capital of a reunified Korea Harry W. Richardson and Chang-Hee Christine Bae INTRODUCTION This chapter examines the question of where the capital of a reunified Korea might be located (unless reunification results in a new constitution, a New Administrative City would be a more accurate phrase than a relocated capital, in view of the 2004 Constitutional Court decision). It does not address the issue of if, and when, the two Koreas might be reunited. Rather it assumes for the purpose of this discussion that reunification will take place some day; this position is emphasized throughout the book. In that event, it explores the prospects for four alternatives: 1. 2. 3. Seoul, the current capital of South Korea; Pyongyang, the capital of the DPRK; Sejong City, Chungcheong Province (the formerly planned new capital of South Korea, scaled back to the ‘New Administrative City’ after the constitutional setback, with a subsequent name change to a ‘Directly Governed City’); Kaesong, a city and ancient capital of Korea, located in North Korea close to the DMZ (the De-Militarized Zone), and the location of the International Industrial Complex (the main focus of inter-Korean economic relations). 4. BACKGROUND The resolution of the North Korean issue continues to be very problematic. Manipulation and extortion by the Kim Jong Il regime have led to endless gyrations in North Korea–external relations, especially with respect to denuclearization. Without a resolution followed by a 230 M2595 - RICHARDSON PRINT.indd 230 21/04/2011 09:17 Options for the...
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